Being scared when going to the psychologist for the first time is completely normal. Feeling fear or a kind of anguish when starting a treatment is the logical reaction to an unknown phenomenon such as psychological therapy.
Should I go to the psychologist?
The cases of people who know with certainty that they need to go to the psychologist are frequent. However, day after day they are looking for excuses to postpone that decision.
Starting a psychological treatment is not an easy task. Quite the contrary, there are a lot of obstacles and prejudices that make it difficult to start psychological treatment.
When a person has overcome the initial doubts and knows for sure, that he needs to go to a professional, then the great doubt arises of calling and making the first appointment.
Inside the person who is in this situation, a lot of confused and sometimes contradictory feelings are mixed:
– The hope of finding a way out of the problems that plague you.
– The illusion to regain lost happiness.
– Sometimes also a feeling of overwhelmed optimism and with little logical foundation. They believe that just going to the psychologist will change your life overnight.
We could say that these are the forces that drive her to pick up the phone and make an appointment. But on the other hand, feelings appear against assuming this task:
– The fear of going to that first consultation.
– The fear of being judged.
– The shame of telling closely guarded secrets.
– Anxiety or anguish when remembering experiences that we have deeply stored.
– The pain of reliving the loss of loved ones.
All these feelings mix, fight with each other and create a state of uncertainty in the person who is faced with this situation.
The courage to start a psychotherapy.
First of all, we have to know how to value the person who has decided to go to the psychologist to solve their problems of anxiety, depression or whatever they are. Overcoming social prejudices is not easy.
There are many who still think that “only those who are crazy go to the psychologist.” Others fear going to the psychologist for “what will they say” as if psychological suffering were a kind of social stigma, like leprosy in the Middle Ages.
It should be clarified that the person who goes to the psychologist shows great courage. It has a great value twice:
– For facing social prejudices.
– For overcoming your insecurity.
Having fear, fear, shame or anxiety before the first appointment with the psychologist is normal, the strange thing would be to be indifferent to this situation.
According to the newspaper El Mundo , almost 5% of Spaniards receive psychological treatment.
The psychologist is a professional.
The patient who goes to this first appointment should know that the psychologist is a qualified and experienced professional. He is a specialist who will smooth out all the obstacles that prevent you from expressing your feelings.
The psychologist will try to create a pleasant, close environment where the patient is relaxed. The psychologist is never going to judge the patient. He is not going to point an accusing finger at you. On the contrary, it will try to reduce the fear or fear of the patient to express his feelings.
Confidence is one of the cornerstones of therapy. The psychologist will try, at all times, to make the patient feel understood. The one who initiates a therapy must know that his suffering is not alien to the therapist.
When the individual expresses his fears or fears and sees that he is not judged, that what seemed like a mountain is nothing more than a grain of sand, when he can release pain and his deepest emotions, and feels understood and comforted, then a strong bond begins to develop between the patient and the psychotherapist.
The fear of going to the psychologist.
Being afraid, ashamed or anxious before that first consultation is logical and normal. Despite this, the patient must trust the psychologist as a professional that he is, so that he can help him to lose fear, to gain confidence.
The patient only has to bring to that first consultation the conviction that he needs help. You must be convinced that a psychologist can help you solve your emotional problems.
When someone goes to the psychologist obliged by those around him, therapy will be of no use. If you are convinced, you only have to go to that first interview with the desire to overcome your problems. If you are afraid or ashamed, you can express it freely.
Many of my patients, when asked how they felt going on the first appointment, tell me that they were terrified. They made them want to turn around before ringing the doorbell.
Expressing your fear, shame, or anxiety is a very healthy way to start therapy. Verbalizing these feelings demonstrates a high degree of trust in the therapist.
Think that all patients have gone through this or another similar situation before. That is the first stone that appears on the road, but it is not your mission to eliminate it. You only have to go with the desire to improve. Everything else is the responsibility of the psychologist.
A vote of confidence.
Think, as a psychologist that I am, I fully understand how you feel on that first date. My task is that you feel comfortable and relaxed, that you feel that your problems are not alien to me.
It depends on me that the environment is comfortable so that you can express yourself freely and without fear. It’s my job to make you feel better, not to feel judged.
That you feel that I can understand and understand everything that happens to you is only my mission. I know you may feel scared, I know you are even tempted to back down, but most of all I know that I can help you. I just ask for a vote of confidence to let me try.
Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.